LESSON FOR YOUTH AND ADULTS
Handout for this lesson
Joy Comes In the Morning
So often I think about all of you in the world who come and visit World Sunday School that I have never met. I think about you who come and read the words that God gives to me each week for a lesson. I wonder about who you are and what your lives are like. I pray for you. Even though we have never met in life, we that are born again, we are brothers and sisters in Christ.
We are all part of the family of God. I have a love for you and I want so much for God to use me in a way that can serve you, that can help you spiritually. I want to be a mouthpiece, a pen for him to reach your hearts and the hearts of those that some of you go out and teach as well. I know that life can be difficult and we all have struggles and sometimes we feel as if we will never overcome some of the things that come against us. However, I want to encourage you in the Lord today. I want you to know that we go through night seasons. These are hard times, painful times. These are times when we are broken. Night seasons seem unbearable sometimes, but know that they are times and opportunities when God is strengthening you. It may not feel like it, but if we just hold on to the Lord, weeping may endure for a night, but hallelujah Joy comes in the morning. You will see the sun again precious child of God. Hold fast, God is working behind the scenes for those that delight and trust in Him and help is on the way!
Handout: Joy Comes in the Morning
This is a letter I wrote some months ago and I have incorporated it in this week’s lesson, because God pressed upon my heart for me to do so. I know that many of you will be able to relate now, and if not now, you will in the future and maybe you will remember it and by God’s grace and with his help, you will be encouraged to press on knowing that you are not alone and that things will work out for your good if you trust in the Lord and love him.
Lately, I've been thinking much about how funny life can be. It seems to me, the older I get, the more I learn and experience, the more I understand how much I don't really know. I've embarked on a journey at this phase in my life, trying something that I have always wanted and needed to do, and I know it's something GOD wants me to do, but let me say it's the hardest thing I have ever tried to accomplish. Have you ever felt this way?
Sometimes I feel so broken and weak and it seems like there is no way possible I can reach this goal, but I know in whom I believe and I know that HE will help me get there by HIS grace, strength, and mercy, and that is what I am leaning on. It's the hard times when I need peace, I can go to GOD'S word, and read it, but most importantly, I can experience it!
I think about the apostle Paul and the things he wrote. Sometimes I can read the things he taught and I can relate so much. It’s amazing how God knew that we would all be tempted about alike and how he guided Paul to write these things down so that we can know that God understands and he is our strength.
Philippians 3:13. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
This battle, can come at us from many different directions, the enemy uses things that would never normally even think of to hurt us and to get us down. That is why it is so important to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. (Matthew 10:16) That’s why it’s so important to pray for wisdom and seek the Lord daily. I just like many of you that are in, what we know as the battle with the flesh, we understand this. We have not arrived to what we desire to be for God, but we continue on, trying our best to be what He would have us to be. Through the tears and frustration we press on and when we look to the Lord, when we get in his word, he gently sooths that frustration, dries our tears, and he brings a peace to us inside that we cannot even comprehend or describe Praise the Holy name of JESUS!
Psalm 30:5 weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
God sends us people in our lives to help us on our journey and that we can help along as well. I as well as you who read, we are so blessed to have a family and friends that support us and that are praying for us. Prayer is so powerful, and it changes things. When we earnestly call out to our FATHER, it moves HIS heart.
If you are someone who doesn’t have family or you don’t have many friends, know that you do have the Lord. He understands. Even we who do have a support of others, sometimes we have to trod alone in order for us to learn to lean on the Lord and trust him as we should, and in order for us to really realize that we are in reality never alone. He is ever present. The Father wants us to depend upon him. No matter who you are, no matter how alone you may feel right now or sometime in the future, no matter how alone you have felt in the past, You are not, nor have you ever been alone. The Lord is with you wherever you go!
Joshua 1:9 “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
How in this world, do people get by without GOD? My spirit aches for them. We must show them JESUS so that HE can bring them to himself. Sometimes when it gets so hard, Satan makes me feel like I have to quit, but in my spirit, I don't want to, and I keep asking GOD to help me. Have you ever felt that way? I've learned in my life not to put any confidence in this flesh because it's weak, but instead my confidence must be solely in HIM. Again, this is something that Paul understood. I have used this passage of scripture before in lessons, but it is so important for us to understand the struggle and that we do not have to give up. In fact we must not give up! We have the power of Almighty God within us. However, there is a battle that rages against us and I want for readers to understand that this is something we all face.
Romans 7: 15 “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25. I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Paul is saying exactly how we sometimes feel. This never changes. We are in a battle with this flesh and with Satan. The things we want to do, we find our flesh going against those very things, and the things we don’t want to do, we find our flesh wanting to do those very things! That can cause frustration because we as believers love God’s law and we want to do and be what he would have us to be but just as Paul described we have another, warring against the things that we try to do for the Lord. Does that mean that we can just give up and do as the flesh desires? NO! We have no good in ourselves, but Praise God he made a way of escape through Christ. Jesus is the only way for deliverance from this sinful fleshly nature. Through following the Holy Spirit we can live in victory over our fleshly desires. Is it easy? Again, no, this is the struggle. We are powerless alone, but we have the Holy Spirit and the strength of God working for us. We can overcome this flesh through Christ.
It's amazing how GOD can give us peace in the toughest of times. He gives us joy, we can smile and laugh and we can dance with the storm all around, knowing that we are safe in HIS all powerful, loving and gentle hands. I know that you who are reading this, you have been through, are going through, or will go through a time when you will be broken in your lifetime, probably many times in your life you will go through night seasons, but those are the times when GOD is making us stronger, and by denying ourselves, by letting HIM overtake us, through sweet surrender, we who are weak, become stronger in HIM. He is our source of strength. Just as a baby draws nourishment from it’s mother, we draw from the Holy Spirit.
No matter how much it hurts we must move forward, no matter how rough may seem the way, if we fall, get back up, go through tears, heartbreak, through life's storms, it's heat and cold, just move forward, it will seem long, but we will reap in due season if we faint not, and the Holy Spirit is ever there guiding us along.
Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Oh my brothers and sisters, wherever you may be in the world, whoever you all are, know that I don’t just write of things I’ve heard. I write from experience. I understand living day after day for years with physical pain so great that it feels as if you cannot go on. I understand the toll, stress and the weakness it causes in the body. I understand emotional pain and going years in that bondage not understanding why. I understand how Satan can make you feel worthless and without hope, I understand being misunderstood by the people closest and being laughed at. I understand worry and need. I understand loss. I know where you are coming from. This is not a pity party, by God’s grace I can stand today and praise him for all these struggles, pain, and frustration because through it all, he has made me stronger and he has helped me be able to understand and know what others are going through so that I can pray and so that I can by his grace be of encouragement for others to know that in all things we are more than conquerors. Is my struggle over? Not even close! I have so much more to learn and I pray that I never stop learning. However, I understand more and more the older I get that God is true and that no matter what life throws at me, through him I can survive. Not only can I survive, I can have the victory over it through Christ Jesus our Lord and praise His name so can you precious one! All you must do is believe, trust him and call upon his name. Thank you Jesus!
I understand that some feel and go through more than others. God is in control. However, no matter what we endure, still we are all blessed by God even in all these things. I understand these things and feelings because I have experienced them, but more importantly I understand and I know the deliverance of our Father through Christ when we surrender to him. Hallelujah! I understand and know from experience that he does provide and he does supply all needs. I understand and know what it’s like to struggle for years and trying to be “good enough” on my own and failing time after time. Oh but thanks be to God I also have experienced God’s amazing grace in so many ways. I continue to experience it and I want you all to know that joy does come in the morning. I promise you, no matter what you are going through, if you will surrender to the Lord, if you will delight yourself in the Lord and trust him, he will deliver you and you will be stronger through him. Thank you Lord!
We are brothers and sisters in this big wonderful family of GOD. Let us pray one for another in love and sincerity because we all have our parts to do. If you are in a night season, remember joy comes in the morning. We can trust our Father. HE is GOD and he never fails and HIS promises are true. Christ gives me a great love for all of you, please know that I am praying for you and for those that God will use you to touch and encourage. Let us pray one for another, we are family. God Bless you all.
Reminder: Remember to love and serve others in the attitude of Christ!
Dear Righteous, Loving, Heavenly Father,
I come to you today thanking you for the opportunity to write to those that you will send to read. Thank you for this ministry and for those that work so hard to keep it going. Bless us Lord to continue to do your work and to reach those precious souls in the world that you love so much. Thank you for your word and that we can find solace there. I pray today Father for everyone that will come and read and those who will go and teach as well as those that will encourage others with your message of truth, love, and peace. Father, I ask you to be with each one in a special way. Take this lesson Father and use it for your glory and to bring peace to the ones that are in pain and struggling. Use it to encourage your children Father and use it to bring those that don’t know Christ to Him and to yourself.
Father I thank you for watching over us another week and for providing for us. I thank you for giving us strength to go on and for the joy we feel in your love. Father I thank you for your love, your mercy, and your grace. I thank you that you understand and that you care. I thank you that you hold us safe in your hands and that you gather us to your bosom and that we are held by you even when we don’t even realize it and even when we are not as thankful as we should be. You are good even when we are selfish and unthankful. Today I ask you to help us to be ever thankful for who you are and all the things that you do for us and for the wonderful, amazing things that you have in store for we that love you. Thank you again so much for sending your only begotten Son Jesus so that we would have hope and so that we could be saved from the wrath to come. Thank you for relationship and the intimacy that we can share with you and thank you for giving all of yourself to each one. Father help us to give all of ourselves to you. Help us to delight in your ways and help us to ever love you as we should. Father bless your children today and help us be a light in a lost and dying world. Help us to see what is really important and to love one another unconditionally and help us to follow after your Holy Spirit and do as you have commanded. We thank you Lord Jesus for dying for our sins and for being the bridge and the door to our Father. Show us the way to touch your heart Lord and to be as you would have us to be everyday. Thank you Father that you always make a way and that joy does come in the morning. In the precious, lovely, holy name of Jesus we pray. AMEN.
November 20, 2016